Orthodox rabbis slam Amnesty International report on ‘apartheid’ Israel as ‘antisemitic’

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Orthodox rabbis slam Amnesty International report on ‘apartheid’ Israel as ‘antisemitic’

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FIRST ON FOX: On Tuesday, Amnesty International released a report concluding that the state of Israel has “perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid” against Palestinians. The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an organization that represents more than 2,000 Orthodox Jewish rabbis, condemned the report as “antisemitic” and a “litany of shameless lies.”

The Amnesty International report, entitled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity,” claims that “massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid under international law.”

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“The Amnesty International report, which we have seen and examined, is openly antisemitic,” CJV Managing Director Rabbi Yaakov Menken said in a statement first provided to Fox News Digital. “No one should pretend it is about a political dispute when it is rife with hatred against individual Jews.”

Rabbi Yaakov Menken of the Coalition for Jewish Values.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken of the Coalition for Jewish Values.
(Coalition for Jewish Values)

Menken laid out three specific complaints against the Amnesty International report, arguing that it uses deceptive terms and omits key historic events in order to demonize the Jewish state.

“The report begins with a reference to ‘Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian residential neighbourhood near the Old City,’” the rabbi noted. “Amnesty fails to note that the neighborhood’s original name is Shimon HaTzaddik, that Jews built the homes there, that the legal, Jewish residents were ethnically cleansed out by the Jordanian Army in 1948, and that the Arab squatters are refusing to pay rent for homes they illegally occupy. No legitimate human rights organization would omit these facts.”

This picture taken on July 30, 2020, from the Mount of the Olives shows a view of an Israeli flag flying in Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the background. 

This picture taken on July 30, 2020, from the Mount of the Olives shows a view of an Israeli flag flying in Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the background. 
(Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Menken also faulted the report for referring to Israel’s 1967 “military occupation” while omitting the fact that “Jews were returning to land from which they were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian and Egyptian armies, and that the Arab armies’ declared intent was not merely to destroy the country but to massacre its Jewish inhabitants.”

“The report similarly omits that Hamas is recognized by the U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist organization, and that it has antisemitic genocide written into its charter,” the rabbi added. “No legitimate human rights organization would omit these facts, either.”

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, Monday, May. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, Monday, May. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Finally, Menken faulted the report for using the term the “Palestinian people” in a way that intentionally excludes Jews.

“As used in the report, even the dozens of references to the ‘Palestinian people’ are antisemitic: they intermix all the diverse backgrounds of those whose families ever resided in British Mandatory Palestine, except Jews,” the rabbi argued. “Such a concocted notion of ‘peoplehood,’ one defined only by the ethnicity it excludes, demonstrates obvious bigotry.”

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“This report provides further proof that Amnesty International is not a human rights organization at all, but an antisemitic hate group, and anyone reading this report will be subjected to a litany of shameless lies,” Menken concluded.

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., called for President Biden and international partners to “denounce” Amnesty International’s report on Tuesday in a tweet.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) also released a response to the Amnesty International report, noting – among other things – that Amnesty International quoted former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of context to twist his words. CAMERA faults the report for almost entirely omitting references to bombings, suicide attacks or stabbings against Israelis – only referencing attacks in order to set up “criticism of Israel’s efforts to defend its civilians against terrorist attacks.”

“Amnesty International is denying Jewish national rights by charging that by its very existence a sovereign Jewish state is guilty of apartheid,” CAMERA research director Alex Safian told Fox News Digital. “Under the internationally accepted IHRA definition, Amnesty is thus guilty of antisemitism. The massive critical reaction across the Jewish political spectrum is indicative of the community’s collective disgust.”

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“The report not only recycles already debunked propaganda but also makes up a whole new array of provably false charges,” Safian argued. “Amnesty International’s lies are so egregious and malicious that one is almost tempted to call the report itself a human rights violation.”

Amnesty International did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment by press time.

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